Social Movements Research

I have long been interested as a ‘participant researcher’, or ‘observant participant’, in social movements for progressive change and transformation.

From 2002 to 2005 I was a Research Fellow at the ESRC Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation, University of Warwick, pursuing a research project I called Altered States: The Cultural Politics of Subjectivity in Resistance to Globalisation.

For two years from 2005-07 I was Co-Investigator on a research grant funded by the ESRC Non-Governmental Public Action (NGPA) Research Programme (RES-155-25-0029), for a project entitled Alternative Media and Public Action: Organising the Global Alternative Media Networks. 

Here I share some of the publications that arose from this interest and research, in chronological order.


Sullivan, S. 2001 Danza e diversità: copri, movimento ed esperienza nella trance-dance dei Khoisan e nei rave occidentali. (On dance and difference: bodies, movement and experience in Khoesān trance-dancing – perceptions of ‘a raver’). Africa e Mediterraneo Cultura e Societa 37: 15-22.

Reprinted as Sullivan, S. 2006 On dance and difference: bodies, movement and experience in Khoesān trance-dancing, pp. 234-241 in Haviland, W.A., Gordon R., and Vivanco, L. (eds.) Talking About People: Readings in Contemporary Cultural Anthropology, 4th Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Sullivan, S. 2003 Frontline(s). ephemera: critical dialogues on organization 3(1): 68-89.

Sullivan, S. 2003 Protest, conflict and litigation: dissent or libel in resistance to a conservancy in north-west Namibia, pp. 69-86 in Berglund, E. and Anderson, D. (eds.) Ethnographies of Conservation: Environmentalism and the Distribution of Privilege. Oxford: Berghahn Press.

Sullivan, S. 2005 ‘We are heartbroken and furious!’ Rethinking violence and the (anti-)globalisation movements, pp. 175-194 in Maiguashca, B. and Eschle, C. (eds.) Critical Theories, World Politics and ‘the Anti-globalisation Movement’. London: Routledge.

Earlier Working Papers:
Sullivan, S. 2003 ‘We are heartbroken and furious!’ Engaging with violence in the (anti-)globalisation movement(s). CSGR Working Paper 123/03.
Sullivan, S. 2004 ‘We are heartbroken and furious!’ Rethinking violence and the (anti-)globalisation movements (#2), CSGR Working Paper no. 133/04,

Sullivan, S. 2005 An other world is possible? On representation, rationalism and romanticism in Social Forums. Special Issue ephemera: theory and practice in organization 5(2): 370-392.

Böhm, S., Sullivan, S. and Reyes, O. (eds.) 2005 The organisation and politics of Social Forums. Special Issue ephemera: theory and practice in organization, 5(2), pp. 98-442.

Sullivan, S. 2008 ‘Viva nihilism!’ On militancy and machismo in (anti-)globalisation protest, pp. 203-243 in Devetak, R. and Hughes, C. (eds.) Globalization of Political Violence: Globalization’s Shadow. London: Warwick Studies in Globalisation, Routledge.

Earlier Working Paper: Sullivan, S. 2005 ‘Viva Nihilism!’ On militancy and machismo in (anti-)globalisation protest, CSGR Working Paper no. 158/05

Sullivan, S. 2008 Conceptualising glocal organisation: from rhizome to E=mc2 in becoming post-human, pp. 149-166 in Kornprobst, M., Pouliot, V., Shah, N. and Zaiotti, R. (eds.) Metaphors of Globalisation: Mirrors, Magicians and Mutinies. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Salter, K. and Sullivan, S. 2008 ‘Shell_to_Sea’ in Ireland: building social movement potency, Non-Governmental Public Action (NGPA) Working Paper Series 5.

Frenzel, F. and Sullivan, S. 2009 Globalisation from below? ICTs and democratic development in the project ‘Indymedia Africa’, pp. 165-182 in Mudhai, F. (ed.) African Media and the Digital Public Sphere. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Sullivan, S., Spicer, A. and Böhm, S. 2011 Becoming global (un)civil society: struggles in the global Indymedia network. Globalizations 8(5): 703-717.

Earlier Working Paper: Sullivan, S., Spicer, A. and Böhm, S. 2009 Becoming global (un)civil society: struggles in the global Indymedia network, LSE Non-Governmental Public Action (NGPA) Research Paper Series 42, ISBN 978-0-85328-366-9

Frenzel, F., Böhm, S., Quinton, P., Spicer, A., Sullivan, S. and Young, Z. 2011 Alternative media in North and South – a comparison: the cases of IFIWatchnet and Indymedia in Africa. Environment and Planning A 43: 1173-1189.

Sullivan, S. 2011 Supposing truth is a woman? A commentary. International Journal of Feminist Politics 13(2): 231-237.

Sullivan, S. 2012 Living amongst things of value: Stephan Schwartzman, indigenous restitution, and forest (carbon) conservation. Invited Review Essay, American Anthropologist 114(4): 683-685.

Martin, A., McGuire, S. and Sullivan, S. 2013 Global environmental justice and biodiversity conservation. The Geographical Journal 179(2): 122-131.

Mueller, T. and Sullivan, S. 2015 Making other worlds possible? Riots, movement and counterglobalisation, pp. 239-255 in Davies, M. (ed.) Disturbing the Peace: Collective Action in Britain & France, 1381 to the Present. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Sullivan, S. 2016 (Re)embodying which body? Philosophical, cross-cultural and personal reflections on corporeality, pp. 119-138 in Thomas-Pellicer, R., de Lucia, V. and Sullivan, S. (eds.) Law, Philosophy and Ecology: Exploring Re-Embodiments. London: GlassHouse Books, Routledge Law, Justice and Ecology Series.

Sullivan, S. 2018 On possibilities for salvaged polyphonic ecologies in a ruined world. Invited commentary on Tsing, A.L. 2015 The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins. Dialogues in Human Geography 8(1): 69-72.

Sullivan, S. 2019 Towards a metaphysics of the soul and a participatory aesthetics of life: mobilising Foucault, affect and animism for caring practices of existence. New Formations: A Journal of Culture, Theory & Politics 95(3): 5-21.

Neimark, B., Childs, J., Nightingale, A., Cavanagh, C., Sullivan, S., Benjaminsen, T.A., Batterbury, S., Koot, S. and Harcourt, W. 2019 Speaking Power to ‘Post Truth’: critical political ecology and the new authoritarianism. Annals of the American Association of Geographers 109(2): 613-623. DOI:10.1080/24694452.2018.1547567

Sullivan, S. 2019 Reading ‘Earth Incorporated’ through Caliban and the Witch, pp. 119-134 in Barbagallo, C., Beuret, N. and Harvie, D. (eds.) Commoning with Silvia Federici and George Caffentzis. London: Pluto Press.

Sullivan, S. 2021 On climate change ontologies and the spirit(s) of oil, pp. 25-36 in Böhm, S. and Sullivan, S. (eds.) Negotiating Climate Change in Crisis. Cambridge: Open Book Publishers.

Sullivan, S. 2021 I’m Sian, and I’m a fossil fuel addict: paradox, disavowal and (im)possibility in changing climate change, pp. 139-156 in Böhm, S. and Sullivan, S. (eds.) Negotiating Climate Change in Crisis. Cambridge: Open Book Publishers.